Enzyme-Catalyzed Synthesis of Esters in Water

Luuk Mestrom, Jord G.R. Claessen, Ulf Hanefeld*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)
315 Downloads (Pure)


MsAcT catalyzes the esterification of primary alcohols in water. When utilizing acid and alcohol as starting materials low yields dictated by thermodynamics were observed. However, with activated esters such as ethyl acetate and vinyl acetate very high yields of the desired ester can be achieved in combination with the appropriate alcohol. This study investigated both the intrinsic kinetic properties of MsAcT for the hydrolysis and transesterification of esters in water as well as the thermodynamics of the reaction. In comparison to the chemical or enzymatic ester synthesis using either toxic reagent, and harsh organic solvents, the MsAcT-catalyzed synthesis of esters of primary alcohols can be achieved efficiently in water without neutralization steps.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2004-2010
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • acyl transferase
  • kinetic control
  • Mycobacterium smegmatis
  • thermodynamic equilibrium
  • transesterification
  • water


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